LEAVENWORTH — Leavenworth County commissioners have been told the Kansas Department of Transportation will support only one Missouri River bridge in the county.
That is according to an email sent this week to County Commission Chairman Doug Smith.
The email comes as commissioners have been seeking support for a proposal for constructing an additional bridge across the Missouri River that would link a road in the Lansing area with Missouri 152 Highway in Platte County, Missouri.
Currently, the Centennial Bridge spans across the Missouri River, linking north Leavenworth with Platte County, Mo.
Smith received the email from Kelly Kultala, KDOT’s public affairs manger for this region.
The email was a followup to a telephone conversion Smith had with Kultala and another KDOT official.
In the email, Kultala wrote that “KDOT will support only one Missouri River Crossing in the area, not two. If the community and elected officials decide that the new Missouri River Crossing bridge is what is best for the community, KDOT would permanently remove Centennial Bridge.”
Smith provided copies of the email to his fellow commissioners when they met Wednesday.
Following a regular weekly meeting, commissioners had a work session to discuss topics they wish to raise with state lawmakers during a Dec. 17 breakfast meeting.
Legislators who represent portions of Leavenworth County have been invited to attend the Dec. 17 meeting.
County administrator Mark Loughry questioned the position of KDOT of having only one Missouri River bridge in the area.
“That really doesn’t make any sense that they take that approach,” he said.
He said having a second bridge would allow residents to still have a way to get across the river if one of the bridges has to be temporarily closed.
Given KDOT’s position, Loughry suggested it is even more important to get legislators involved in the proposal for the additional bridge.
In her email, Kultala indicated KDOT officials would be willing to meet with the Leavenworth County Commission or other stakeholders.